Monica’s Musings: I Tried to Change So You Don’t Have To

I Tried to Change So You Don’t Have To by Loni Love

“There’s a saying a lot of people live by: ‘Fake it till you make it.’ For me, it’s always been ‘fake it, and then have the whole thing blow up in your face.’” -Loni Love, I Tried to Change So You Don’t Have To: True Life Lessons

Loni Love is one of my favorite comedians and talk show hosts. I have watched her talk show The Real for almost two years. I am always interested in what Loni is going to say because she is honest and funny. When I saw her book sitting on the shelf, I immediately knew I had to read it. It is safe to say I was not disappointed.

This book goes through the author’s life growing up in Detroit and her struggles of making it in Hollywood. Her life was not easy, and despite her comfortable life now, she has not forgotten her roots. She touches on subjects from fake friends, homelessness, to racism that she has experienced. Her life story is not typical, which made this such an interesting read. She is able to use comedy to make her story light, but she does not skirt around the tough details.

I ate this book up from cover to cover. Not only because I am a fan of Loni, but because her life story was so different than anything I have ever had to deal with in my life. Love’s perspective is so optimistic despite some of the cards she has been handed. I admire someone who is able to take their rough situation and use it as motivation to change their life. This book made me feel even more grateful for everything I have, and it also motivated me to be kind and keep working hard for what I want out of life.

Mom and Me Reviews: Wonder Walkers

A brother and sister go on a “wonder walk”. A Wonder Walk is what it sounds like, a walk where you voice the things you wonder about as you walk.

First Line: “Wonder Walk? Sure.”

Summary: A brother and sister go on a “wonder walk”. A Wonder Walk is what it sounds like, a walk where you voice the things you wonder about as you walk.


                Maggie: Five Stars

                Conor: One Sigh

                Mama Lala: Three stars

Their Thoughts: Conor wasn’t very interested in this story. He sat still for the reading, but nothing gripped his attention.

Maggie did not appear to pay attention, but at the end of the reading I was proven wrong about that assumption. It seems she was listening intently, but not looking at the illustrations.

She said she thought it was as good book, especially for preschool and elementary aged kids. Then said it was a good bed time or relaxing book. “It’s a good book to let you get away from the world for a little bit.”

My Thoughts: This is not an exciting book. It is a beautiful concept, though. I wish it were more memorable. I do not have words for what would take it from this level to the next. Do not mistake me, its a good book… it’s just also, unfortunately, forgettable.

The book DID provide for a wonderful discussion between my kids and me. We, like the main characters, played “I wonder”. We wondered if the leaves were the tree’s clothes, and if humans felt like tics or fleas to the world.

Happy Reading our friends,

Mama Lala, Maggie, & Conor

What’s Ashley Reading?: The Hunger

The Hunger by Alma Katsu

First line: Everyone agreed it had been a bad winter, one of the worst in recollection.

Summary: A wagon train of settlers head out from Independence, Missouri, who would later be known as the Donner Party. They are bound for the bountiful lands of California. Among them is Tamsen Donner, who some believe to be a witch. And when strange things start to occur along the trail many look towards her for someone to blame. As they cover the long miles over prairie, desert and mountains, members of the party begin to change. Will the group be able to make it to the promised land of California or die trying to take the shortcut?

My Thoughts: Practically everyone has heard of the ill-fated Donner Party. They spent a long winter in the mountains on their way to California. After several of the party are rescued there has been rumors and debate about if the survivors resorted to cannibalism to stay alive. The story is such a dark piece of history which I think is what makes it so fascinating to so many people.

This book was recommended to me and I used it as part of my Traveler’s Reading Challenge. I had really high hopes of a spooky story mixed with cannibals. But I felt that there was a lot of build up to an ending that wasn’t as good as I had hoped. I expected to spend a lot more time in the mountains and the cold months. But this only was a small portion at the very end. It was a fun read for someone interested in a twist on history.

FYI: The author’s next book is The Deep which gives a twist to the story of the Titanic.